August 19, 2018




Sigismund III was elected King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, backed by strong supporters, and with the blessings of the primate of Poland Stanisław Karnkowski.  His new official name and title became, " By the Grace of God, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Ruthenia, Prussia, Masovia, Samogitia, Livonia and also Hereditary King of the Swedes, Goths and Wends"  The latter part was reference to the fact that he was Crown Prince of Sweden and would succeed to the Throne of Sweden upon the death of his father.


Second Silesian Uprising began.  Pro-German activists organized a march to celebrate what they thought was the end of independent Poland. A German newspaper in Upper Silesia published a fake announcement that Warsaw was defeated in the Polish-Soviet war. When it became apparent that Warsaw had not fallen, the demonstration escalated into violence and looting of Polish stores. Consequently,  a Polish uprising took control of government offices in the districts of Kattowitz (Katowice), Pless (Pszczyna), Beuthen (Bytom). Between August 20 and 25, the rebellion spread to Königshütte (Chorzów), Tarnowitz (Tarnowskie Góry), Rybnik, Lublinitz (Lubliniec) and Gross Strehlitz (Strzelce Opolskie).


Hitler received 88.1%  'Yes' vote in the referendum. The vast majority of Germans approved of his new powers, while 9.9% were against and 2.0% not valid or blank votes. Over 38 million Germans agreed to the merging of the titles "Fuhrer" and "Reichskanzler" (Chancellor) making Hitler the de facto dictator of the Third Reich. The referendum was fraught with voter tampering, intimidation, and electoral fraud. In many places, voting booths were removed entirely, and signs placed, "only traitors enter here" to discourage those who wanted secret ballot.  In many instances, the ballot was already marked "Yes", whereas  the"No" ballots, or spoiled ballots were counted as a "yes". Hitler had already assumed power, but used the referendum to legitimize his role in the eyes of the world.


Stalin addressed the Politburo about upcoming war. He discussed Soviet policy and strategies that would empower the Soviet Union.  "….On the other hand if we accept Germany's proposal,  that you know and conclude a non-aggression pact with her, she will certainly invade Poland, and the intervention of France and England is then unavoidable. Western Europe would be subjected to serious upheavals and disorder. In this case we will have a great opportunity to stay out of the conflict, and we could plan the opportune time for us to enter the war....."


Execution of French Resistance Fighter:   Samuel Tyszelman, a Polish-born Jewish Communist, was an active member of the French Resistance movement in Paris. On August 19, 1941, Tyszelman was among a crowd of  100 young men and women who emerged from the Strasbourg – Saint-Denis metro station waving the tri-color flag of France, singing La Marseillaise and shouting "Down with Hitler! Vive La France!" French and German police intervened.   Germans soldiers opened fire and Tyzelman was hit in the leg.  Henri Gautherot fled but a German civilian pursued him and caught him in a porter's lodge at 37 Boulevard Saint-Martin. Tyszelman took refuge in the cellar of 29 Boulevard Magenta (19th arrondissement), but German soldiers arrested him with the assistance of the Emergency Police. Following a German military tribunal, Syszelman and Gautherot were sentenced to death by firing squad at the Vallée-aux-Loups in Châtenay-Malabry, Hauts-de-Seine.  On the same day the Germans posted notices in black lettering on red paper, announcing the sentence and execution. He was 20 years old.


The Battle of Dieppe (or Dieppe Raid), on August 19, 1942, was an Allied attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe.  The raid took place on the northern coast of France at 5:00 am and  involved 5,000 Canadian troops, 1,000 British troops and 50 United States Army Rangers. By 10:50 a.m.  Allied commanders were forced to call a retreat.  They failed in all their objectives, and worse still was being trapped on the beach between obstacles and heavy German fire power. Less than ten hours since the beginning of the raid, the last Allied troops had all been either killed, evacuated, or left behind to be captured by the Germans.  Captain Romuald Nalecz-Tyminski of the Polish Destroyer,  ORP Slazak was honored for saving the lives of 85 Canadians during the Dieppe Raid. "With guns blazing he led the rescue..." He was hailed as a hero in both Canada and Poland.


Soviets Massacred Polish Soldiers. On August 19, 1944, in a report to the Polish Government-in-Exile, the Lublin District of the Home Army (AK) wrote: "Mass arrests of the AK soldiers are being carried out by the NKVD all over the region. These arrests are tolerated by the Polish Committee of National Liberation, and AK soldiers are incarcerated in the Majdanek Camp. Losses of our nation and the Home Army are equal to the losses which we suffered during the German occupation. We are paying with our blood."  (Editors note:  Stalin commissioned the NKVD to kill members of the Polish Home Army, because they were seen as threats to Soviet supremacy. The Soviet intention had always been to conquer and occupy Poland and destroy any opposition.  After the end of the war, many Polish soldiers who returned to Poland were arrested and murdered.)

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